Cambridge Hyatt lures Facebook fans with free internet access

Do you like Hyatt? Wait, let me rephrase that: do you “like” Hyatt? Not in that way … in the Facebook way.

Here’s the deal: if you like the Hyatt Regency on Cambridge on Facebook (in the manner that used to be called becoming a fan), you’ll score a night of free internet access. When you figure the $12.95 that the hotel is sacrificing, according to AllFacebook, the cost per lead is pretty low, and it’s already led to close to 400 fans.

According to AllFacebook, the Hyatt Regency Cambridge picked the right lever to pull:

Running a wireless service within a venue is ultimately a flat cost. There’s no additional cost per user, although the fixed costs of a wireless system for a hotel that sleeps 10,000 people a night will be much more expensive than for one which sleeps 100 people each night. Anyways, the interesting strategy highlights just how far companies will go to obtain “Likes” and it also illustrates an interesting strategy for attracting new fans.

White Collar Travel Extra: Charles Hotel, Skype and the Business Traveler

The Charles Hotel‘s recent small gesture may actually be a bold move. The hotel, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has decided to add Skype and video cameras to the free computer station that occupy rooms once dedicated to ice machines. It doesn’t look like much more than a small concession to weary travelers who want to stay in touch with their loved ones, but it’s actually a fairly hefty commitment.

Though the proliferation cell phones has made using the hotel phones unnecessary, the Skype-equipped stations still undermine a hotel revenue stream, which is tantamount to the hotel’s announcing: “We’ll take money out of our pocket to keep our guests happy.

The stations obviate the need for guests to lug around laptops and cameras and such, which would seem like a natural benefit to the business traveler. Of course, I toted mine around on most of my trips because of the business need, and I don’t see many of that ilk dropping their laptops.Nonetheless, there is an upside for the road warrior. In addition to not having to deal with a camera, the stations obviate the need to install Skype on their business computers. This can help business travelers remain compliant with company IT policies while still having the opportunity to see their friends and family every night when they’re on the road.

Of course, this is only one gesture from one hotel. If it works, however, it won’t take long for the competition to notice – that’s when we’ll see it start to pop up everywhere.

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